Bearden High School students had an opportunity to explore the Middle Ages during Marco Madness Medieval Fair.
The school’s Latin and history teachers teamed up with The University of Tennessee Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Tennessee Medieval Fair to host the event at BHS. Students could learn about medieval history and culture through trivia games, roundtable discussions, trying out a catapult or calligraphy and watching performances.
“I like it,” Emylea Ferguson, BHS Class of 2016, said. “I’m very impressed.”
“I enjoy all these school events,” Giulianna Tapia, BHS Class of 2017, said. “I like to support them, and I’m getting the [extra] credit as well.”
“Bearden High School put this on to educate students about Medieval times while providing a safe and fun environment,” Sandy Hughes, BHS Latin teacher, said. “We were talking about the declining numbers of liberal arts students in general and in particular, Medieval and Latin studies.
“About everything now is STEM this and TNReady that,” Hughes said. “We thought it would be great to have a Medieval and Renais-sance Studies Day for high school students.”
about is majoring in STEM fields, which is fine, but majoring in humanities is also a great life’s decision. It has a lot to offer students,” Thomas E. Burman, director of the UT Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, said. “So, we decided to put this together. This is our first try.”
”The idea was to have fun thinking about the past, the Middle Ages, and how fun it would be to major in Middle Ages and related courses,” Hughes said. “I invited Tammy [McKibben], our history teacher, and Barrie Paulson, vice president of Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman. About 20 kids helped pull it together at various levels.”
“I’m hoping they would have an appreciation of history and see there is so much connecting of the past to the present day,” McKibben said. “By studying and enjoying the process, students will have an appreciation for the influence history still has today.
“I’m excited about the fair. We’re not just having an academic focus, we also are looking at fun activities taking place.”
“The fair aims to demonstrate how medieval culture and the humanities shed light on today's world,” Burman said. “They worked real hard to put this together.
"With the popularity of 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings', 'The Hobbit,' Vikings, pirates, Disney princesses and more, there is so much excitement about everything medieval. We wanted to provide a gathering where this interest could thrive.”
“I hope they will see an interest in Medieval and Renaissance is not frivolous,” Mariah Helton, a Pellissippi State Community College student, said. Helton, a former student of Hughes, works with Tennessee Medieval Faire. “It can have meaning in future choices and be fun.”